tv [untitled] November 8, 2010 12:30am-1:00am PST
what happened to the previous owners. miami -- my name is anne highes. the previous owners went bankrupt and lost their home. the appellatnt lost their neighbors and friends. the recession affected the neighborhood, where incidentally my grandmother was born 95 years ago, on this very day. is her birthday. but now our family faces crisis. we're paying for two places because of a stop work order. we face months of possible appeals even if you rule in our favor. we are devoted to this committee. my husband co-founded citizens come to reflect san francisco
diversity. i have been teaching in san francisco 20 years and it 10 years at hillcrest elementary. it is a port for me to be part of this neighborhood -- is important for me to be part of this neighborhood where some of my students live. i want to introduce you to my parents, co-owners of this home, and their grandchildren. this is our attorney. thank you. >> thank you. i have to improvise. the architect to the project was told to come by later because we're the last item to help me show things on the overhead. he has the overhead, so we will improvise and did the best we can, thank you. this is an unusual case. we have a family that is only seeking to live in the building envelope of the house they bought, and with a situation of a family that used to live there in the same footprint that my clients are seeking to keep. dbi called this building
virtually uninhabitable. there is a list of about 12 some problems with it, and the notice of violation sent to the other family that my clients did not know about. in a recent letter to your board, the castillos state their work without permits was done at the rear of the home and it was performed in very recent years. the appellants state the work was reason enough that the planning code had already been amended to allow the rear yard addition to be built only with issuance of a variance. the appellants said the castillos at the rear yard additions specifically after october, 1978. why? after that date was the time that a building at this death cannot occupy with the building does today, which is all but the rear 17.5 feet of the property.
may i see the castillo letter? ironically, the former owners letter that the pilots provided to you and is now on the overhead -- that the appellants provided to you and is now on the overhead, supports our case. i draw attention to what is in yellow. it says, "my father built all around the backside and that under. he dug it out for us, around 1970. then there was a fire, no. 8 next door burned." this time line is supported by the only building permit that is on record at the building department the entire 100 years of the property, which we will see now which was dated october 26, 1970, to cure the fire damage. this, we think, is the reason you can make a finding tonight that this was built prior to the time building this would have
triggered a rear yard variance, built prior to 1978. we could have not said it better ourselves. you might ask why my clients don't go for the various process. they might succeed it and you may ask, well, to have to go through 311 to add the second unit and saw the same envelope there has always been. since that requires the 311 notification. the appellants have already announced they will request d.r. on that, which is adding a full bath to a half bath and full kitchen to have kitchen. my clients can and wish to move into this home as soon as the interrupted phase 1 work approved by planning can commence. but if you roll the rear yard variance is needed, work to complete phase one will continue to be on hold probably another six, nine months, and later i will explain why so many months. what that means is during those months, my clients will be paying two sets of mortgage,
property tax, insurance, and maintenance. the allegations of work potentially expand beyond what the permits showed have absolutely no merit. the existing conditions behind these are very old homes and cannot be predicted until uncovered in the field. when uncovered, they often trigger changes and the scope of work. the contractor then decides with the building inspector whether to immediately seek revision or whether to wait until more unexpected conditions reveal themselves, and then do one big revision. this particular contractor on this job, with a field inspector on the job, decided wants all such things were known, it would seek application for revision. nonetheless, he made a revision of the first item that he found, and that revision is before you. there is also a claim of serial
permitting because of the two phases. that is false. first, the'w my clients do, which was to bring the neighborhood association into two meetings. even though they did not have to send out notice of phase one at all. second, serial permitting is all about seeking permits in two steps so as to get something done that would not be allowed if they were obtained it one step. obviously, that is not the case here if both phases of the project were part of one phase. resulting billings would be perfectly code compliance. the reason for two phases, why? because the first phase to be approved, twice, without 311 edification, thus quicker. thus my clients could stop having to pay simultaneously for
two homes before they file for phase two permits to allow their parents to move then. -- to move in. please note -- i am almost out of time. i have an aerial photo to show, which is evidence of the rear in existence in the 1970's, but i have run out of time. thank you. commissioner garcia: mr. gladstone, what is the square footage on the deed to this property? >> i don't know if i have to deal with me. i know the square footage of the building envelope the castillos lived in. commissioner garcia: did they sell a house that included square footage? >> my clients bought it, the castillos went into bankruptcy. my clients bought it, and they
bought -- i don't have the grand diva, but i believe what they thought they were buying was exactly what they saw when they did their due diligence during pre closing. there was sales paraphernalia indicating square footage, and i don't have that with me. commissioner garcia: you are under the impression this included the square footage, the extension? >> absolutely. commissioner garcia: you stated, showing that letter, you showed something having to do with the fact that the addition might have built and 1971 not have required variants. what about permit? >> it would have required a permit, and you are able to authorize that or the planned department can authorize that today. as you know, when work is done without permit, someone is
allowed to retroactively get that permit it. the have to pay a penalty, hopefully not nine times if they did not do it themselves, and what we're seeking is that the planning department allowed a retroactive approval in the form of allowing a renovation of the envelope. that is before you. commissioner garcia: alright. commissioner fung: counselor, for the portion of the house that was demolished because of the dry rot that was found, was there any documentation done to the type of material that was removed? >> i was the architect was here. he could tell you. or maybe -- would you like to describe it? do you know the type of material that was uncovered by the contractor when he was working on the rear portion?
is that the question? commissioner fung: yes, it and age and the type of construction? >> if you saw those materials, did your contractor tell you what he thought the age of those materials might be? or did the architect? commissioner fung: are you asking if he understood my question? >> i understood the question. the question is -- and here is seth, the architect. i think he is probably more qualified. commissioner fung: for the portion of the building that was demolished because you found dry rot and other things wrong with the existing structure, is there anything reflective of those materials that would point towards an age or form of construction? >> i am sorry, my name is seth,
the architect on the project. i did not see all of the materials myself. i saw some would come out -- i saw some wood , that was much older, old tight douglas-fir from several decades ago, and i also saw some new work to buy for material -- two-by-four material on the rear part of the construction. commissioner fung: was there plaster in the rear? >> there was plaster in some of the rooms, yes. it commissioner fung: fung:wood backing? >> i cannot recall the extent to which we had would last. i recall there beingsome plaster when we walked through in the rear. vice president goh: did you
also see sheet rock? >> we saw some of sheet rock and a very rear portion that look like it had been done hastily, recently, and it was over an older wood in some cases. vice president goh: okay, thank you. president peterson: mr. gladstone, there was mention of two complaints being filed. could you walk me through that history? >> i will turn that over to the architect. >> there is a whole string of complaints. there was one complaint when the owner bought the property that was about an illegal dwelling unit. the inspector walked through it and cited a little plumbing and a kitchen that was not set up. there was also some a little
plumbing installed in the rear, on the lower portion, and there was an illegal property line window on the south side of the building. that was the first complaint that we became aware of, just as the owners were buying the property. president peterson: and when did you buy that property? >> would close on that september 18, 2009. >> that was the first complete. there was another complaint that had to do with a deadbolt installed on the outside gate, and that was updated by removing the dead ball and the notice of the cut -- that was updated by removing the deadbolt.
we already halfway through construction that was about exceeding the scope of the permit issue. it president peterson: thank you. is anyone living in the building now? >> no. vice president goh: when you receive the stop work order, at what stage were you? i want to go on record as saying i drove by. i live nearby and i drove by and look like there was no lower floor at all. >> the stop work order came in effect right after we had found the dry rot and removed a portion of the rear wall. at that point, we were about 40% complete with instruction. vice president goh: foundation replacement happened? >> there was extensive the- replacement. the first alteration permit, we
were trying to save as much of the foundation as possible before we opened the slab. it appealed to myself -- and appeared to myself and the structural engineer would be up to save some of the foundation. we began replacing the foundation, shoring up the building, which is what you do. vice president goh: okay, that answers my question. president peterson: thank you. commissioner garcia: i have sort of an incomplete answer to a question having to do -- and you would probably know, what was the square footage of the house that was purchased by this couple? would it include the extension? did you ever see the deed? >> i don't know. i can tell you the square footage is.
scott sanchez, planning department's staff. i do not have much to add other than to say we do not have any evidence of the building permit application. however, it appears the building as it was constructed would become compliant. the rear yard requirement would have been 25 feet. however, you get to reduce that if you have a lot that is shorter than 100 feet and this was a 70 ft. deep lot. it would have met exactly the code requirements of the day. that is the code information i can tell the board. commissioner fung: in 78 it changed? >> that is when bernal heights
put in that regard requirement. commissioner garcia: blanche stone told us it did not need eight variants, if his date is correct, but it might have needed a permit. is that correct? >> i would refer it to director kornfield about whether a permit would be required. as for whether the department has retroactive powers to grant a permit which would now require a variance, i do not believe that is the case. i can check with the city attorney's office and see if we have that power, but it is something that may be in the power of this board. vice president goh: i am not entirely sure i followed that. let me back up. when we were discussing the jurisdiction request, i thought you said there was still an open question as to whether that exterior portion exceeded the
envelope of the existing building. >> the issue is whether or not they have -- whether or not that building which currently encroaches into the required briard, whether or not that is a non-complying structure. that is the question before the board. vice president goh: how could it be a legal and non-complying structure if it was built without a permit? we heard that from -- >> that is the question that is before the board. we at the department could not make that decision, so that is the question for this board to answer. vice president goh: say that again. >> that is the question that is before the board, whether it is a legal non-complying structure. given that we have not seen a permit, we as the planning department do not see evidence that would be required in order for it to be legal. in our staff review, we cannot
come to that conclusion. that is the question that is before the board. the board would be the final arbiter of that question. it is at the city level. vice president goh: so the permit was issued and then a stop work order was issued based on the information we just discussed. >> the building permit that was issued was for repairs to the existing on below. it was not a reconstruction of the envelope. that is why those permits were issued. afterward, it was brought to our attention that the portion of the building at the rear was never a legal. this was new information for us. it was not a complete we had on file. we investigated the department history and found there was no evidence of a permit. that is when we issue the stop work orders. we have one on the subject permit in the permit described in the jurisdiction request. vice president goh: but your investigation was limited to
reviewing the permit history and not the kinds of questions we heard from the other commissioners, looking at the kind of wood that was taken out and that sort of thing. >> we do not have that broad a discretion in deciding if it is non-complying or not. we are purely looking at the record. it does not have a building permit. so it is up to this board to decide if it is a legal non- complying structure. president peterson: mr. sanchez, you said it was code compliant, it appears? >> i believe if it was constructed prior to 1978 it would have met the planning department code requirements for eight rear yard at that time. -- for a rear yard at that time. commissioner fung: refresh my memory of the exact dimension that is non-conforming. >> it looks like it is the rear 10 feet.
commissioner garcia: what? >> 10 by 25. commissioner fung: we would have allowed a pop out, right? >> that is correct, but only at one level. i will check the bernal codes. they are much more restrictive and may not permit the pop out. this would not comply with the 12 foot pop out. commissioner fung: about 10 feet, you are saying. >> correct. it would have complied in 1970. president peterson: is there any public comment on this item? members of the public? step forward. while we are waiting for the first speaker, i want to put on the record that we did check to make sure that vice president goh's home is outside the 500
foot radius, so she does not have a conflict. sir, if you could fill that out after you speak, that would be great. you have one minute. >> i am speaking to you on behalf of and hughes and her family. as a native of san francisco, my family have witnessed the changes that have occurred in san francisco. the representative the changes, it has been the content of the character of its citizens that has made san francisco what it is today. we are made of diverse communities, brought together by the people who live in the neighborhood. these are the very people we need here in san francisco. as a teacher in san francisco public school, she is making a difference in the family -- in the community with her students. she has volunteered to lead in the creation of a community garden and activities that not only benefit the school but outreach to the community. she has created an environment
that adds to the neighborhood. as a parent, she seeks to enrich san francisco as a teacher. thank you. president peterson: next speaker, please. could i see a show of hands of how many people plan to speak? people who want to speak, if you would not mind lining up on that far wall, i would appreciate it. we are crunched for time tonight. >> i am a colleague and a good friend of ann and sam. i want to speak briefly to support their presence as members of the community and of our school community. i used to live in bernal and had to relocate my family out of the city because we could not find a home here. teaching at the school that i teach at, i hear stories from
ann about students who runs into in her neighborhood, as her family is involved in the neighborhood. it stars the longing in my heart to be back in the community i teach in. i think it is essential that a city like san francisco allow teachers to work in the same communities we teach him. bernal is the quintessential san francisco neighborhood and this is the quintessential san francisco family. they are part of our community, an integral part of our school community. our schoolmates them. our community. -- our school needs them. >> if you would not mind filling out a speaker card, we would appreciate it. >> i am a neighbor on 11 colridge. i live to the rear of the proposed building. i brought some evidence i would
like to submit. it says the original building envelope was 1200 square feet. i am not opposed to these people being part of my neighborhood. i think it is fabulous they are. this seemed to be upstanding and wonderful. what i am opposed to is the size of the building. i chose to buy in bernal because i love this backyard. it is clear to be a huge tower looking over into my backyard. why am i going to be living there? i also saw that building go up, go down, go up. i have lived there for 10 years and seen at least four reconstructions of that back porch. i even talked to the previous owner about it. there you go. sorry. thank you. commissioner fung: how long have you lived in your current house? >> i have only lived there for 10 years.
81 -- i mean 91. [laughter] commissioner fung: you said a number of times there have been alterations? >> the back porch would go up and down. up the stairs were back then sideways. but they redid it and then the stairs went toward my house. the big guys who lived there would throw chicken bones over there. commissioner fung: most of the rear wall was in its current location? >> there is nothing. they tore everything down. commissioner fung: i met before they tore it down. you talked about stairs. >> it was a shed that had stairs built underneath it, a set of stairs. then it changed and i think they put a bathroom in it or something. i am not sure. i have never been in the home. it was like a porch and it had stairs, and then it became a walled in and game room. there would have poker parties
back there. then it got screened in and the stairs came out. commissioner fung: thank you. vice president goh: i was trying to confirm the time period, because i did not understand. i am sorry. i need you to approach. the building that you just described took place over what time? >> i have only been there for about 10 years. about 10 years of it. president peterson: is there any other public comment? >> good evening, board of appeals. i am with the bernal heights neighborhood center. i am here to speak about issues of concern to the community. wheat serve the community to moderate issues such as the one you are considering right now.
when people come into the community, we want them to participate. one thing sam and his family have shown is that they participate. they are engaged in the community. they are engaged in a number of issues. and we look forward to having them participate through the neighborhood center and through the bridge building we do every day to connect people in the community, to make sure people are acting as neighbors. we do not just work at these meetings. we work with youth and seniors in the community and look forward to having them participate in those activities, as they have shown they do in their lives outside of the community, so thank you. president peterson: is there any other public comment? >> mining is peter stein. i am the director of the jewish film festival. i am a homeowner. i have known as sam and his family were better than 10 years, partly because some works
with the festival in a youth mentor ship program through the festival. -- partly because sam works with the festival in a youth mentorship program to the festival. we live in an artist community. i have seen an exodus of all of our neighbors, artists to leave the city because the cannot afford to live here and because it is difficult for them to get a foothold in the community. i was thrilled when sam let me know they had been able to actually purchase a place to renovate, a dilapidated place in bernal.. it is truly important for some form of independent boys to have a place in san francisco they can call home. president peterson: thank you.